Brenda Maddox

Reading the Rocks

Worlds Before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform


University of Chicago Press 614pp £25.50 order from our bookshop

Was it coincidence that geology offered a revolutionary way of looking at the earth at the same time that British and French societies were agitating for political reform? Both early nineteenth-century upheavals were stirred, as Martin Rudwick shows, by the burgeoning press. In Britain the growing network of railways carried newspapers (fed by the electric telegraph), scientific periodicals and books the length of the land. The new reading public showed a remarkable appetite for science.

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